1/ Keep your usual schedule
This should really be a no-brainer but you absolutely cannot sleep in, lol. I’ve both worked from home and worked in a office for years, and those that excel in both keep the relatively same schedule.
Use an alarm, daily – yes girl you need one. I’ve been keeping the exact same schedule that I had when I was working. Obviously, if you have children, a long commute or extended duties that you get done in the morning – you can cut down on that (yay for you!) but I have my alarm set for 6:30am (even though I’ve been waking up on my own lately!). Your usual schedule could also be, grabbing a coffee before you get into “the office”, walking your dog, go through your planner, write a to-do list or key tasks for the day..whatever works and keeps you consistent!
2/ You can’t work from bed (sorry!)
This easily ties into Number one but nooooo you absolutely cannot. Once you’re out of bed – that’s it. The reasons why you can’t are endless, its not comfy for more than 30mins, you can’t be on Zoom from bed (ummm lol can you imagine what your co-workers would say), it’s easy to fall asleep – get where I’m going? Sitting up straight, in a comfortable chair is important both for your mind, body & productivity.
when it was obvious that I’d be WFH and I am so glad I did! (here’s another option) Having a designated working area, that’s clean and organized is so clutch guys I can’t even explain it. I know not everyone has that luxury but if you’re working at your kitchen table then keep a specific area clear and clean just for you. Place your computer, work phone, pens, a notepad etc in that area so its visually clear that this area is specifically for work. Once a week, continue to monitor the area and make sure its tidy!
3/ Get dressed + presentable
Tying back into Number 1 – get out of your pyjamas and get dressed for work.
I’m a big believer in how I look ties directly into how I feel.
You have to wear *real* clothes – similar to what you’d wear to work – it doesn’t have to be the equivalent of dress pants and a blazer, but its definitely not yoga pants and leggings.
This also means taking your morning shower, doing your skincare routine, combing your hair etc. It helps to put your mind into business mode – super important to your own productivity and efficacy.
4/ Stay grounded + connected
Take breaks. As much as productivity and staying on course is incredibly important – so are your breaks. It’s not effective or healthy to just work work work work – also, not really sustainable for the average person. Just as you schedule your calls and meetings – schedule your lunch. It doesn’t need to be the exact same time everyday, but work in a quality meal with no work attached daily. This is also a great time to catch up on texts, watch TV (something light hearted and funny is great) and connect w/friends. Ensure that your lunch time (whether it’s 30mins, 45 or 60) has a hard stop – otherwise you’ll be binging Netflix before you realize it. Value your breaks as much as you value your work!
5/ Eliminate your distractions
I personally prefer to work with something playing in the background. It relaxes me but in a stimulating way – especially if it’s answering emails, doing expenses or writing a blog post!
I prefer to have Instrumental Bossa Nova or Jazz playing in the background
Today, I’m really enjoying the ‘Smooth Jazz’ radio station on Apple Music – it’s by far my fave type of music to work to and during the Christmas season… you guessed it – Instrumental Christmas music, lol. Music with lyrics, I personally find distracting especially since my work involves writing and words rather than numbers. TV time should only be during lunch – seriously. Don’t have the news (awful) or anything else in the background because it’s incredibly easy to get pulled into a show or a talking point and end up wasting 20mins or even 2 hours. Distractions could also be your pet, your children (sorry!) or your cellphone.
It’s ideal (if possible) to have your kids on a similar schedule which allows you to carve out serious work time for both them and yourself. Keep your personal phone on silent – this is a must for me. Pings from What’s App messages I find super distracting, mostly because I feel compelled to respond. I’d rather wait until my free-time to get caught up on messages – very similarly to what I’d do if I were in the office. A schedule will save you and distractions will have you wondering where the time has went.
A final note I wanted to add – there’s been quite a few (thousand) blog posts on working from home but I wanted to briefly give an additional 2cents on what I feel like is not being said. This is an opportunity that you might not ever have again, with that said it’s important to enjoy it – look at the pros, despite the challenges.
I also feel compelled to write that, this is not the time to slack off.
Layoffs have already begun and we haven’t seen the beginning, this moment in our time will all effect us differently but it’s imperative that if you value your job – it is your duty to do what you can in this moment to keep it. Reach out to your Manager/HR/CEO, whomever and ask how you can be of greater assistance during this time. Now is the time to show your value and increase it, by whatever means available to you. Help out colleagues, take on extra work/assignments – whatever you can do, to contribute to your bottom line.
Sending you all a lot of well wishes during this time. Stay home and wash your hands 🙂